A spokesperson from French broadcaster France TV has issued a statement, following news of Israel broadcaster KAN’s plans to screen a comedy series featuring a French Muslim singer who is involved with a terrorism plot at Eurovision.
The series, titled Douze Points, is a three-part dark comedy thriller series directed by the award-winning Israeli director Daniel Syrkin. The series is produced by Eurovision 2019 host broadcaster KAN. It revolves around TJ, a young gay French Muslim nightclub singer.
TJ’s childhood friends — who have since become members of ISIS — pressure the singer into becoming part of their terror plot. They say they will help him win the French national final and in exchange they insist that he help sneak one of his terrorist mates into the Eurovision venue.
Plans for the series began in 2018, and pre-production was well underway when France selected its act for Eurovision 2019 — Bilal Hassani, a young gay singer from a Muslim background.
And it’s this coincidental resemblance between Bilal and the character of TJ that has raised eyebrows at the French broadcaster. But despite Israeli media reporting that broadcaster France TV was threatening to boycott Eurovision 2019 if the series wasn’t ditched, the French broadcaster has confirmed they currently have no such plans.
Speaking to Télé-Loisirs, a France Télévisions spokesperson said, “We are in regular contact with the EBU […] In the context of these discussions between channels, the Douze Points project — which we learned the existence of last week — was mentioned.”
The EBU has also commented on the issue. A spokesperson told Ynet, “The EBU is aware of the comic drama that is currently being produced in Israel (for KAN) and deals with a Eurovision-like event. The EBU gives decisive importance to freedom of expression and to the reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU is in discussions with the host of Eurovision 2019, KAN, about the production, to ensure that the result will please both sides.”
“Suddenly these tough Mossad agents find themselves at Eurovision”
Douze Points was created by Asaf Zelicovitch and Yoav Hebel, who were inspired after pondering the idea of a terrorist attack at Eurovision. The comedy series aims to make fun of serious Mossad agents as well as ISIS terrorists, all within the extravagant setting of Eurovision.
Zelicovitch explained to Hareetz, “From a comical standpoint, there’s a lot of material to play with, because suddenly these tough Mossad agents find themselves at Eurovision with cruel ISIS operatives also having to blend in.”
Hebel also notes the comedy potential of putting ISIS agents in the LGBT-friendly world of Eurovision. “This series laughs hardest at homophobia. ISIS members are the biggest homophobes in the world, hating gay people more than anyone does, which shows their stupidity.”
When asked if the show might not impress Eurovision fans, Zelicovitch said, “We hear that all the time, but I think that when you think about the script and its funny aspects, it was the best thing to do. Obviously we’re crossing our fingers.”
Douze Points is still in production, but will tentatively screen on Israeli television in the week before the Eurovision 2019 grand final.
What do you think? Is it unfair on France for KAN to screen this before Eurovision? Will you watch the series? Sound off below!
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